Robert Downey Jr. stresses the doom and finality that will come in Anthony and Joe Russo's Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios has built up an incredible roster of characters over the last decade, and none of it would've been possible if not the success of Iron Man. As the first star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr. has been through it all, and he'll need to apply everything he's learned as Iron Man to help prevent the end of the world (and the universe).
The arrival of Thanos (Josh Brolin) is going to shake up the MCU like never before. The Mad Titan's obsession over collecting all six Infinity Stones and balancing the universe again will bring every hero together - from all corners of the galaxy. And helping lead that team of heroes is Iron Man. However, so far, the film's marketing has shown that Tony Stark is no match for Thanos, especially not in a one-on-one fight. While some Avengers are expected to die in the movie, Marvel Studios isn't known for keeping their major characters dead (aside from villains), but Downey Jr. is assuring fans that the studio isn't going to take the easy way out with Infinity War.
As part of EW's coverage of Avengers: Infinity War, the outlet spoke to Downey about where audiences will find Tony Stark in the film, as well as the threat Thanos poses. As it turns out, things aren't looking good for the Avengers in Infinity War.
"Believe me, I’m tired of every movie, you know, 'It’s the end! It’s Armageddon! It’s the Be All, End All, Forever!' And then it’s … not. This one actually is. [Laughs] They’re not kidding. This is a heads-will-roll scenario."
Even though Marvel Studios has only released one Avengers 3 trailer so far, the stakes are abundantly clear. The Avengers have been tested before but never like this, and they'll certainly need all the help they can get - including the Guardians of the Galaxy - to try and come out on top. This final battle is so big, in fact, that it takes multiple super teams (potentially on different planets) just to try. While all of the heroes have largely been successful in their efforts without suffering too many casualties, that won't be the case here.
Downey Jr. further teases at the end of his quote what everyone has been expecting. Marvel has to allow Thanos to strike down numerous heroes to make his presence felt. They've been building up to him for several years now - spanning over a dozen movies and potentially billions of dollars spent - and they can't allow him to be yet another underwhelming villain. This is a feeling co-director Joe Russo previously echoed, saying that audiences need to come in to Infinity War prepared to see some of their favorite heroes perish. The question is, which heroes?
Aside from how those deaths would impact the overarching MCU, there are also real studio contracts in play. Many of the original cast members' contracts are coming to a close (e.g. Chris Hemsworth's Thor contract ends with Avengers 4), so Marvel needs to find a way to move past them in order to allow new heroes to take the forefront. That doesn't mean every original hero has to die, as some could find a peaceful end. But, if heads are going to roll as Downey Jr. suggests, then there's a decent chance some people are going to die... and stay dead.